CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nancy Writebol, the American missionary who contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia, is expected to return to the U.S. for further treatment on Tuesday, according to SIM (www.simusa.org), the Christian mission organization with which she serves. She remains in serious, but stable, condition.
Writebol was serving on a joint team with Dr. Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, when they both contracted the virus.
The same medical evacuation plane that brought Brantly back to the U.S. for treatment on Aug. 2 is on its way to Liberia to pick up Writebol. The plane, which is equipped with a unique containment unit, will fly into Dobbins Air Force Base near Atlanta. Writebol will then be transported to Emory University Hospital and placed in a special isolation unit set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).
“We are so grateful and encouraged to hear that Nancy’s condition remains stable and that she will be with us soon,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. “Her husband, David, told me Sunday her appetite has improved and she requested one of her favorite dishes – Liberian potato soup – and coffee.”
David Writebol will travel back to the U.S. separately in a few days. He will be reunited with his wife, where they can visit through a window in the isolation unit.
SIM missionaries evacuated from Liberia returned to the U.S. on Sunday. The group of two adults and six children will be housed temporarily at SIM’s campus in Charlotte.
SIM is following strict personal and public health safety protocols established by the CDCP and the World Health Organization regarding its personnel. All departing SIM personnel were cleared in Liberia by infectious disease medical experts to fly on commercial flights. All received medical checkups upon their return. No returning SIM staff members are ill or showing symptoms of infection. SIM medical staff, in cooperation with area healthcare professionals, will continue to monitor their health and support their well-being.
“Quite frankly, those returning to the U.S. need a temporary sanctuary where they can rest, relax and be loved on by other members of the SIM family,” said Johnson. “Media interest has been high, and we ask that their privacy be protected.”
Although nonessential personnel have left the country, SIM is sending another American SIM missionary doctor to help with the treatment of Ebola patients at a separate Ebola Treatment Center on its 130-acre SIM/ELWA campus in Monrovia, Liberia.
“Our ELWA Hospital is led by capable Liberian doctors, administrators and staff,” said Johnson. SIM currently has two expatriate doctors on site that have been caring for Writebol, Brantly and others, alongside their Liberian colleagues. Other SIM ministries, including its radio station and HIV-AIDS public health education group, continue to operate with Liberian staff.
The latest updates on Writebol’s condition and SIM’s role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia are available at www.simusa.org.
SIM is an international Christian mission with a staff of nearly 3,000 workers serving in more than 65 countries. In addition to medicine, SIM serves on every continent in areas of education, community development, public health and Christian witness. While SIM stood for Sudan Interior Mission when it was founded 120 years ago, it is now a global mission known as SIM. Two of SIM’s three founders died of disease within the first year of the organization’s founding. Yet SIM continued on to become one of the largest Christian medical missions in the world.
PHOTO CUTLINE: David and Nancy Writebol
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